Do your kids turn up their noses to a lunch box apple that’s been sliced in the morning and becomes brown by lunchtime? Here’s a great tip to keep those pre-sliced apples crisp and bright!
If you or someone in your family doesn’t like biting into a whole apple (for preference or maybe even braces), slicing it is the way to go. But after only a few minutes, the pieces can turn brown. Why?
The science behind it
When oxygen is introduced to the apple flesh, a cascading reaction triggers enzymes which oxidize polyphenols and eventual react with amino acids to make a brown-colored pigment. It is harmless but can be visually unappealing.
So how can you prevent a cut apple from browning?
Some say lemon juice does the trick, but it may alter the taste. Others say a water and honey bath is their go-to, but that seems messy and will also change the taste.
I thought of this solution after my older son, in grade school at the time, told me that one of his friends threw out her apples every day. When I asked why, he said that her mom brushed them with lemon juice to keep them from browning and she thought that made them taste funny.
I suggested he could tell his friend to let her mom know, so the apples weren’t perpetually wasted. In the days, weeks, and years since, I cut many apples this way for my kids’ lunch boxes, and they thought it was a fun way to “unwrap” the apple.
Following is a quick video demonstration of what you do:
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The best apple hack, which is quick, fun, and won’t alter the taste:
- Simply cut straight down along the core on all four sides.
- Put the apple back together around the core.
- Wrap it in plastic wrap or secure with a snug-fitting rubber band.
- No more brown spots, no more wasted apple slices!
🍎 Do you have a tip or trick you use to prevent apple slices from browning? If so, please share in the comments section below!